Monday, 18 August 2014
Ham Wall & Shapwick 17/8/14 - Dragonflies, butterflies and an Osprey
We arrived at Ham Wall and the rain was pouring down with the wind howling, "the storm will pass" the weathermen assured us and sure enough the rain cleared. It turned into a beautiful sunny afternoon if a little windy!
So as the sun came out so did the wildlife. Dragonflies were plentiful but always difficult to spot where they landed if they landed at all. We were clearly able to identify Blue tailed Damselflies, Common Darter, Migrant Hawker and Common Hawker and I suspect there were one or two other varieties.
There is a great deal of Hemp Agrimony in full flower best viewed from the lower Loxton loop path by the water channel. The Agrimony was just simply alive with butterflies and we watched open mouthed for ages as they all fluttered around together the colours on each and every one amazing as well as the numbers of them. From Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Red Admiral, Comma and and even a single raggy Silver Washed Fritillary! Also in this area there were still many dragonflies 'hawking' around.
Not too any birds were seen at the Ham Wall side Long tailed Tits, Chiffchaff, Lapwings, Coot, Great White Egret, Little Egret and a great number of House Martins and a few Swifts feeding over the reeds.
On to the Shapwick side and again at the scrape we saw both a Little Egret and a Great White as well as a few ducks towards the back. Noah's Hide was more rewarding and despite the strong wind blowing straight across the lake and into the hide we were able to observe a windswept Osprey almost cowering in the wind plus a Marsh Harrier and Hobby as well as Great Crested Grebes etc on the lake.
From Mere hide there was just one Great White Egret but along the path to the hide there were a few Small Tortoiseshells.
Back sat the scrape again and towards the car park a single Clouded Yellow whizzed by being carried by the wind.
All in all a great few hours on the levels - just wish that more people would see it's more than just the birds!
The water channel swamped by Hemp Agrimony
A raggy Silver Washed Fritillary joined the butterfly party
Common Darter (female)
Osprey from Noah's Hide